A judge in B.C has ruled that Rogers can no longer make the statement “Canada’s Most Reliable Network” in their advertising or promotional material. I think it was a matter of time before one of Rogers main rivals successfully challenged this claim as it stood as a glaring weakness for the other operators.
The recent network upgrades that both Telus and Bell have made to convert to GSM made it possible to successfully challenge Rogers claim. This also highlights the ongoing challenge in the technology and telecommunications industry that competitive advantage is fleeting at best. Competitors are willing and able to make big bets when it comes to new investment in an effort to stay ahead of the competition.
In another few months just about all the wireless operators in Canada will be offering a GSM based service with similar handsets and pricing plans. Competition for new subscribers will be fierce but there will be limited differentiation between the services that they offer.
What does that mean for the industry? Wireless operators need to constantly innovate to find new ways to make their service or product indispensible to customers. You do that by offering new services that make using wireless simpler and easier to use. You also invest in areas where it’s more difficult for competitors to replicate your offering. These areas include customer service, branding, loyalty & retention and new services.
Key Take Away
Now it’s not likely that all the advertising making this claim will disappear overnight but it will cause Rogers both financial and strategic pain. Lesson learned….make sure big bets are in areas that you have a long-term sustainable advantage not a temporary one.